Meyer, Collinsworth, Marbury & ’85 Bears on Real Sports Tuesday

hbo-real-sportsCELEBRATING 20 AWARD-WINNING SEASONS,

REAL SPORTS WITH BRYANT GUMBEL

LOOKS BACK AT THE ICONIC 1985 CHICAGO BEARS;

INTERVIEWS NFL ANALYST CRIS COLLINSWORTH;

CATCHES UP WITH FORMER NBA STAR STEPHON MARBURY IN BEIJING; AND

RECONNECTS WITH THREE-TIME NATIONAL CHAMPION URBAN MEYER

WHEN IT RETURNS JAN. 20, EXCLUSIVELY ON HBO

            REAL SPORTS WITH BRYANT GUMBEL, TV’s most honored sports journalism series, returns with an all-new season of enterprising features and reporting when the show’s 214th edition debuts on TUESDAY, JAN. 20 (10:00-11:00 p.m. ET/PT), exclusively on HBO.

For the up-to-the-minute updates about REAL SPORTS, follow on Twitter at @RealSportsHBO or join the conversation using #RealSports.

Segments include:

*Monsters of the Midway. The 1985 Chicago Bears are among the most iconic championship teams in modern pro sports history. Sparked by dynamic head coach Mike Ditka, they were a devastating powerhouse on defense and efficient machine on offense, and featured an array of memorable characters such as Jim McMahon, Walter Payton, William Perry, Dave Duerson, Richard Dent and Mike Singletary. Thirty years later, the players are still revered, but many of them are feeling less than immortal. Host Bryant Gumbel, who was raised in Chicago, returns home to explore the triumph and tragedy that have touched this band of close-knit brothers. Interviews include Mike Ditka, Jim McMahon, Richard Dent, Steve McMichael and Tregg Duerson.

Producer: Jordan Kronick.

            *Cris Collinsworth. Arguably the most accomplished and recognized personality in sports broadcasting today, Cris Collinsworth, 55, has the unique ability to explain the complexities of football to millions of viewers. An All-American at the University of Florida, he played eight seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals, earning three Pro Bowl nods and appearing in two Super Bowls against the San Francisco 49ers (XVI and XXIII). Following his second Super Bowl appearance, Collinsworth began his TV work on HBO’s “Inside the NFL.” Since 2009, he’s been the expert analyst for the league’s most-watched game of the week on NBC’s “Sunday Night Football.”

REAL SPORTS correspondent Mary Carillo goes one-on-one with the 15-time Emmy® winner two weeks before he calls Super Bowl XLIX in Glendale, Arizona and gains a behind-the-scenes look at his tireless preparation, which includes ten-hour days full of film sessions. She learns that Collinsworth, a husband and father of four, has passed along the sports tradition to his children. Austin is captain of the Notre Dame football team and Jac hosts a weekly football television show at Notre Dame, while Ashley is a junior captain of the Harvard track team and Katie is making her way as an executive at the Golf Channel.

Producer: Nick Dolin.

            *Reinventing His Game. In 2009, after prolonged turmoil with the New York Knicks, Stephon Marbury turned down a one-year contract offer from the Boston Celtics and walked away from the NBA. Already dealing with deep depression over the loss of his father in 2007 and the failure of his Starbury brand of affordable basketball sneakers, the 13-year veteran struggled to cope away from the hardwood.

But in 2010, Marbury returned to the game he loved with the Chinese Basketball Association’s Shanxi Zhongyu Brave Dragons and had an impressive season, averaging 23 points and nine assists. Now, after five seasons in the CBA, Marbury, 37, is one of the league’s biggest stars. Since 2011, he has been a member of the Beijing Ducks, leading them to the playoffs each year, and capturing championships in 2012 and 2014, something the Coney Island native never experienced in the NBA. More recently, his Starbury brand has been reenergized by his success in China. REAL SPORTS correspondent Carl Quintanilla heads to Beijing, where Marbury tells him he has no plans to come back to the U.S.

Producer: Naimah Jabali-Nash.

*Urban Meyer. Earlier this week, Urban Meyer entered rarified air with his third National Championship, leading Ohio State Buckeyes to an upset victory over the Oregon Ducks. Just a few months ago, in Sept. 2014, REAL SPORTS correspondent Andrea Kremer presented a revealing look at Meyer, revealing the amazing highs and painful lows of being at the helm of a National Championship team. In a new interview, Kremer sits down with Meyer to discuss how winning a National Championship feels this time around.

During his six seasons as head football coach with the University of Florida, Urban Meyer captured two National Championships. Less than two years after winning the 2008 title, however, he shocked the college football world by retiring at age 46, citing health and family. But there was more to the story than the reported chest pains. Meyer could only stay away from the game so long before his desire to patrol the sidelines returned, and in 2012 took the reins at Ohio State University. Kremer originally talked with the 50-year-old to discuss his departure from Florida and his new position at one of the nation’s most pressure-filled football programs, learning how he intended to balance work and family – and hearing from Meyer’s wife and daughters whether he was living up to his end of the bargain.

Producer: Jordan Kronick.

Other HBO playdates: Jan. 20 (4:40 a.m.), 22 (7:00 p.m., 12:30 a.m.), 24 (10:45 a.m.), 26 (10:00 a.m., 4:30 p.m.) and 30 (2:30 p.m., 9:00 p.m.), and Feb. 1 (10:00 a.m.) and 3 (6:30 a.m., 4:30 a.m.)

HBO2 playdates: Jan. 23 (3:30 p.m.), 28 (10:00 p.m.) and 31 (2:00 p.m., 1:30 a.m.), and Feb. 5 (6:00 p.m., 1:15 a.m.), 12 (8:45 a.m.), 14 (2:30 p.m.) and 16 (12:05 a.m.)

REAL SPORTS WITH BRYANT GUMBEL is available on multiple platforms, including HBO On Demand® and HBO GO®.

Follow REAL SPORTS updates on HBO.com/realsports and facebook.com/realsports. Immediately following the debut of this month’s show on Jan. 20, log on to HBO.com/realsports for a special overtime session hosted by Bryant Gumbel.

The executive producer of REAL SPORTS WITH BRYANT GUMBEL is Rick Bernstein; Joe Perskie is senior producer.

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HBO World Championship Boxing Saturday Night from Las Vegas: Bradley vs. Chaves, Korobov vs. Lee, Herrera vs. Benavidez

hbo-boxingHBO BOXING® PRESENTS THE HOT TRIPLEHEADER

WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING®:  TIMOTHY BRADLEY JR. VS. DIEGO CHAVES,

MATT KOROBOV VS. ANDY LEE AND MAURICIO HERRERA VS. JOSE BENAVIDEZ

SATURDAY, DEC. 13 FROM LAS VEGAS

A talented international cast takes the spotlight in Las Vegas when WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING: TIMOTHY BRADLEY JR. VS. DIEGO CHAVES, MATT KOROBOV VS. ANDY LEE AND MAURICIO HERRERA VS. JOSE BENAVIDEZ is seen SATURDAY, DEC. 13 at 10:00 p.m. (live ET/tape-delayed PT) from The Chelsea at The Cosmopolitan, exclusively on HBO. The HBO Sports team will be ringside for the event, which will be available in HDTV, closed-captioned for the hearing-impaired and presented in Spanish on HBO Latino.

Other HBO playdates: Dec. 14 (8:45 a.m.) and 15 (midnight)

HBO2 playdates: Dec. 14 (6:00 p.m.) and 16 (midnight)

Former junior welterweight and welterweight champ Timothy Bradley Jr. (31-1, 12 KOs) of Palm Springs, Cal. is one of the sport’s most recognizable fighters.  Polished and resourceful. Following his first loss as a pro to superstar Manny Pacquiao last April, he’ll look to bounce back in this 12-round welterweight rumble.

Diego Chaves (23-2, 19 KOs) of Buenos Aires, Argentina is a power puncher who seeks to score a knockout in every fight. He was disqualified for excessive fouling in the ninth round of his last outing, a competitive ten-round bout with Brandon Rios in which one judge had him ahead.

Second on the bill, two gritty middleweights square off for a vacant 160-pound title belt, as Matt Korobov (24-0, 13 KOs) meets Andy Lee (33-2, 23 KOs) in a 12-round contest. Both Korobov, a 2008 Russian Olympic team member, and the London-born Lee, a veteran of the 2004 Irish Olympic team, are pursuing their first world championship, which could lead to huge fights in the competitive division.

The opening bout is a super lightweight showdown pitting Mauricio Herrera of Riverside, Cal. (21-4, 7 KOs) against Jose Benavidez (21-0, 15 KOs) of Phoenix in a 12-round tilt. Herrera has fought some of the most dangerous opponents in the division, including titlists Mike Alvarado, Danny Garcia and Ruslan Provodnikov. Benavidez had a sensational amateur career, winning the Golden Gloves national championship at age 16. Since turning pro at 17, he’s undefeated in 21 bouts.

WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING, HBO’s flagship boxing series, launched in Jan. 1973, and is the top-performing boxing series on TV.

Follow HBO boxing news at hbo.com/boxing, on Facebook at facebook.com/hboboxing and on Twitter at twitter.com/hboboxing.

All HBO boxing events are presented in HDTV. HBO viewers must have access to the HBO HDTV channel to watch HBO programming in high definition.

The executive producer of WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING is Rick Bernstein; producer, Jon Crystal; director, Johnathan Evans.

® WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING is a registered service mark of Home Box Office, Inc.

Real Sports returns Tuesday with a Roundtable Review of 2014

hbo-real-sportsREAL SPORTS WITH BRYANT GUMBEL

PRESENTS A ROUNDTABLE REVIEW OF 2014

WHEN IT RETURNS TUESDAY, DEC. 16

            REAL SPORTS WITH BRYANT GUMBEL caps its 20th season with a special roundtable review of the show’s most memorable moments this year when the series’ 213th edition, available in HDTV, debuts TUESDAY, DEC. 16 (10:00-11:00 p.m. ET/PT) on HBO.

Follow REAL SPORTS updates on Facebook at facebook.com/realsports and Twitter at @RealSportsHBO.

Departing from the show’s regular format, host Bryant Gumbel leads correspondents Mary Carillo, Frank Deford, Jon Frankel, Bernard Goldberg, Andrea Kremer, Soledad O’Brien, Carl Quintanilla and David Scott in a spirited roundtable discussion of 2014, touching on everything from favorite stories of the year to the interviews and segments that had the greatest impact on them.

The REAL SPORTS team traveled the globe in 2014 in pursuit of high-impact stories that resonate on a worldwide level, visiting: Athens, Greece and Manaus and Rio de Janeiro in Brazil to examine “white elephants,” world-class stadiums built for events like the Olympics and FIFA World Cup, which often remain unused and serve as symbols of financial incompetence afterward; Qatar, the tiny Middle Eastern nation that secured the 2022 FIFA World Cup, but has been dogged by scandal, including accusations of bribery and inhumane, even deadly, labor practices in connection with its winning bid; and Italy, France, Germany and the Far East to investigate an elaborate, multi-continental network of match-fixing in professional soccer.

REAL SPORTS looked at hot-button issues, covering: marijuana use in the NFL as an alternative to opiate-based painkillers; the marketing of shooting sports to children in the U.S. in order to build the next generation of firearm consumers and gun supporters; alleged unsafe breeding practices in the world of competitive dog shows and their affect on canine health; the NCAA student-athlete academic reform that was mandated in 2003 to promote better education practices at big-time universities such as the University of North Carolina, and subsequent reports of fraud; a widespread and dangerous drug culture that’s killing dozens of race horses every week in the U.S.; and the radical ideas being proposed to reverse the declining popularity of golf.

The show met inspiring and memorable people, among them: Gunnar Esiason and his father, former NFL quarterback and current NFL analyst Boomer Esiason, who shares an incredible bond with correspondent Frank Deford as a father to a child with cystic fibrosis; and Fallon Fox, who became the first openly transgender MMA fighter in 2013.

REAL SPORTS was there when computer-based sport activities took center stage, revealing how eSports, one of the fastest-growing spectator sports, has infiltrated the college landscape, and exploring the rapid growth of daily fantasy sports into a billion-dollar industry.

Other HBO playdates: Dec. 19 (10:00 a.m., 5:00 p.m.), 21 (11:00 a.m., 3:45 a.m.), 23 (11:30 p.m.), 26 (2:15 p.m., 8:00 p.m.), 27 (8:15 a.m.) and 30 (7:00 p.m., 3:30 a.m.)

HBO2 playdates: Dec. 17 (4:45 p.m., 12:30 a.m.) and 31 (8:45 a.m., 10:30 p.m.), and Jan. 2 (2:30 p.m., 3:00 a.m.), 4 (8:40 a.m.) and 17 (2:00 p.m.)

HBO On Demand® availability: Dec. 17-Jan. 7

REAL SPORTS WITH BRYANT GUMBEL is available on multiple platforms, including HBO On Demand® and HBO GO®.

The executive producer of REAL SPORTS WITH BRYANT GUMBEL is Rick Bernstein; senior producer, Joe Perskie; senior coordinating producer, Nick Dolin; coordinating producer, Tim Walker; producers, Lisa Bennett, Maggie Burbank, Chapman Downes, Josh Fine, Jordan Kronick and Jason Samuels; associate producers, Nisreen Habbal, Katie Melone, Beret Remak and Jake Rosenwasser; production associates, Adam Berkowitz, Max Gershberg and Naimah Jabali-Nash.

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HBO Boxing After Dark returns Saturday Night from Brooklyn

hbo-boxingHBO BOXING® PRESENTS A SIZZLING LATE-NIGHT

TRIPLEHEADER FROM BROOKLYN’S BARCLAYS CENTER WHEN

HBO BOXING AFTER DARK®: DAVID LEMIEUX VS. GABRIEL ROSADO,

HUGO CENTENO JR. VS. JAMES DE LA ROSA AND

THOMAS DULORME VS. HANK LUNDY IS SEEN SATURDAY, DEC. 6

HBO Boxing presents a sizzling night of ring action when HBO BOXING AFTER DARK: DAVID LEMIEUX VS. GABRIEL ROSADO, HUGO CENTENO JR. VS. JAMES DE LA ROSA AND THOMAS DULORME VS. HANK LUNDY is seen SATURDAY, DEC. 6 at 10:00 p.m. (live ET/tape-delayed PT) from Brooklyn’s Barclays Center, exclusively on HBO. The HBO Sports team will be ringside for the event, which will be available in HDTV, closed-captioned for the hearing-impaired and presented in Spanish on HBO Latino.

Other HBO playdates: Dec. 7 (9:30 a.m.) and 8 (12:45 a.m.)

HBO2 playdate: Dec. 9 (11:45 p.m.)

In the main event, engaging David Lemieux (32-2, 30 KOs) of Montreal brings his hard-hitting reputation to HBO for the first time. This 12-round, 160-pound middleweight fight has all the earmarks of a brawl, as he meets Philadelphia’s hard-nosed Gabriel Rosado (21-8, 13 KOs).

In the middle bout, the highly-regarded Hugo Centeno Jr. (21-0, 11 KOs), from the boxing hotbed of Oxnard, Cal., meets James De La Rosa (23-2, 13 KOs) of Harlingen, Tex., in a middleweight clash scheduled for ten rounds. De La Rosa is coming off the biggest victory of his career over Alfredo Angulo.

The opening bout is an intriguing 140-pound junior welterweight showdown featuring Puerto Rico’s Thomas Dulorme (21-1, 14 KOs) and Philadelphia’s Hank Lundy (25-3-1, 12 KOs). The scheduled ten-round fight is Dulorme’s fourth bout in New York.

The telecast marks HBO’s third trip to Barclays Center, which is quickly becoming a hot spot in the fight game.

Follow HBO boxing news at hbo.com/boxing, on Facebook at facebook.com/hboboxing and on Twitter at twitter.com/hboboxing.

All HBO boxing events are presented in HDTV. HBO viewers must have access to the HBO HDTV channel to watch HBO programming in high definition.

The executive producer of HBO BOXING AFTER DARK is Rick Bernstein; producer, Dave Harmon; director, Johnathan Evans.

® HBO BOXING AFTER DARK is a registered service mark of Home Box Office, Inc.

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Tonight on Real Sports: How the cops in Watts (LA) forged a relationship in the community

hbo-real-sportsREAL SPORTS WITH BRYANT GUMBEL

PROFILES THE WATTS BEARS YOUTH FOOTBALL TEAM;

WHEN THE SHOW RETURNS NOV. 25 ON HBO

HBO Real Sports: The Watts Bears
Carl Quintanilla speaks with community members and police officers in Watts (LA) about the unlikely success of the Watts Bears. Real Sports debuts Tues., Nov. 25 at 9pm ET/PT on HBO.

REAL SPORTS WITH BRYANT GUMBEL continues its 20th season with more enterprising features and reporting when the show’s 212th edition debuts at a special time on TUESDAY, NOV. 25 (9:00-10:00 p.m. ET/PT), exclusively on HBO.

Segments include:

            *The Watts Bears.  REAL SPORTS visits Watts, Los Angeles, long a source of anti-police resentment. In 1965, the neighborhood was the site of race riots that left 34 people dead and more than 1,000 injured, resulting in nearly 4,000 arrests. In the decades since, gang activity and a tumultuous relationship between residents and police have been a constant.

Today, a football team is bridging the gap between communities and cops. It started in 2011, when the LAPD and LA Housing Authority launched the Community Safety Partnership (CSP). Among other initiatives, that meant starting a football program to take kids out of the gang culture of the street and unite them on the field. While the team has struggled for wins, their impact is felt throughout the community. Despite affiliations that might otherwise deem them enemies, parents and other residents support the team together, while the number of homicides has dropped from 79 in the decade before CSP, to just four in three years. REAL SPORTS correspondent Carl Quintanilla speaks with community members and police officers about the Watts Bears.

Producer: Maggie Burbank.

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Wladimir Klitschko vs. Kubrat Pulev airs Saturday, Nov. 15 on HBO

hbo-boxingHBO BOXING® PRESENTS AN AFTERNOON EDITION FEATURING THE

BATTLE FOR HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP OF THE WORLD WHEN

HBO BOXING AFTER DARK®: WLADIMIR KLITSCHKO VS. KUBRAT PULEV

AIRS SATURDAY, NOV. 15 ON HBO

HBO BOXING AFTER DARK begins early with a special presentation of a heavyweight title showdown when WLADIMIR KLITSCHKO VS. KUBRAT PULEV is seen SATURDAY, NOV. 15 at 4:45 p.m. (live ET/tape-delayed PT), exclusively on HBO, with an encore presentation later that day at midnight (ET/PT). The HBO Sports team will capture all the action, which will be available in HDTV, closed-captioned for the hearing-impaired and presented in Spanish on HBO Latino.

Other HBO playdates: Nov. 16 (9:00 a.m.) and 17 (12:30 a.m.)

HBO2 playdates: Nov. 16 (4:45 p.m.) and 18 (11:00 p.m.)

Reigning world heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko (62-3, 53 KOs), originally from Ukraine and now fighting primarily in Germany, puts his championship belts on the line against Kubrat Pulev (20-0, 11 KOs), from Sofia, Bulgaria, in a scheduled 12-round title bout from the O2 World Arena in Hamburg, Germany. In his 19th appearance on HBO, the 38-year-old Klitschko will be seeking his 17th consecutive successful heavyweight title defense, which would rank as the third-most behind legendary heavyweight champs Joe Louis, who had 25, and Larry Holmes, with 20.

Pulev, 33, is undefeated as a pro following an amateur career in which he won several European tournaments and gold medals. In Aug. 2013, he defeated American Tony Thompson in a title elimination contest, paving the way to this showdown.

“Fight fans recognize the history, mystique and legacy of the heavyweight championship, and we are delighted to present the world’s premier heavyweight, Wladimir Klitsckho, live on HBO,” says Peter Nelson, vice president, HBO Sports Programming. “Wladimir represents all the great qualities that one embraces in sport. We are looking forward to televising his 17th world title defense live.”

Also that day, HBO Latino presents an exclusive doubleheader from San Antonio at 9:45 p.m. (live ET/tape-delayed PT), when Gilberto Ramirez (29-0, 23 KOs) takes on Fulgencio Zuniga (27-9-1, 24 KOs) in a super middleweight bout and Oscar Valdez (13-0, 11 KOs) goes up against Alberto Garza (26-8-1, 21 KOs) in a middleweight contest.

Follow HBO Boxing news at hbo.com/boxing, on Facebook at facebook.com/hboboxingand on Twitter at twitter.com/hboboxing.

All HBO boxing events are presented in HDTV. HBO viewers must have access to the HBO HDTV channel to watch HBO programming in high definition.

® HBO BOXING AFTER DARK is a registered service mark of Home Box Office, Inc.

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Tuesday’s Real Sports Probes Low Pay in the Thriving Minor League Baseball Industry

hbo-real-sportsREAL SPORTS WITH BRYANT GUMBEL EXPLORES

THE POSSIBLE LINK BETWEEN HEAD TRAUMA AND VIOLENT BEHAVIOR;

PROBES LOW PAY IN THE THRIVING MINOR LEAGUE BASEBALL INDUSTRY;

EXAMINES THE “EAT WHAT YOU KILL” PHENOMENON; AND

SPOTLIGHTS VIDEO GAMING IN COLLEGE SPORTS

WHEN THE EMMY®-WINNING SHOW RETURNS OCT. 21, EXCLUSIVELY ON HBO

REAL SPORTS WITH BRYANT GUMBEL, TV’s most honored sports journalism series, continues its 20th season with more enterprising features and reporting when the show’s 211th edition debuts TUESDAY, OCT. 21 (10:00-11:00 p.m. ET/PT), exclusively on HBO.

For the up-to-the-minute updates about REAL SPORTS, follow on Twitter at @RealSportsHBO or join the conversation using #RealSports.

Segments include:

(Dr. Ann McKee of Boston University researching the brains of former NFL players.)

*Violent Connection. While head injuries and their profound effect on former players have generated headlines and a steady stream of litigation for the National Football League in recent years, a new crisis emerged in 2014 centering on domestic violence. Now, REAL SPORTS correspondent Jon Frankel discovers that the two issues might have more to do with each other than many imagine. He visits Boston University, where neuroscientists have conducted studies concluding that more than 50% of former athletes, most of them former football players, who had the brain disease CTE developed some kind of violent physical behavior despite no prior history of violence. Frankel also sits down with the widows of two such players, Paul Oliver and Ray Easterling, to hear frightening accounts of how their husbands changed from gentle, loving partners and fathers to violent, out-of-control men.

Producer: Chapman Downes.

*Minor League Pay. Major League Baseball is healthier – and richer – than ever. Five franchises are worth more than a billion dollars and overall league revenue is expected to approach $9 billion for the 2014 season, with attendance figures among the highest in history. Despite what might be MLB’s largest economic boom, the profits aren’t reaching the lower ranks of pro baseball. Adjusted for inflation, minor league salaries have actually gone down during the boom. In addition to receiving no compensation for spring training service or instructional league assignments, players are paid only for the five months they play, are not represented by a union and have no say in working conditions or salary structure. As a result, 32 players, led by former San Francisco Giants minor leaguer-turned-lawyer Garrett Broshuis, have filed a lawsuit against the league and all of its teams. REAL SPORTS correspondent Jon Frankel speaks with Broshuis and others about the overhaul they feel is necessary in Major League Baseball’s farm system.

Producer: Nick Dolin.

(Host Bryant Gumbel on an “Eat What You Kill” hunt in Florida.)

            *Eat What You Kill. Americans eat an average of 200 pounds of meat a year, but many give no thought to how it gets to their plates. However, a growing contingency of carnivores in the U.S. preach a lifestyle guided by the “Eat What You Kill” philosophy. Those men and women only consume animal meat that they have hunted and prepared themselves. Some do it for health reasons, arguing that antibiotics and hormones affect factory farm meat, while others cite ethics and spirituality. REAL SPORTS host Bryant Gumbel meets some “Eat What You Kill” adherents, including former “Fear Factor” host Joe Rogan, and learns that many are not from rural areas, but urban dwellers. Gumbel takes viewers through the “Eat What You Kill” process, from hunt to preparation, where virtually all parts of the body, from the heart to the testicles, are used.

Producer: Tim Walker.

(Members of the Robert Morris University varsity eSports team.)

            *eSports. Whether video gaming, or eSports, is the anti-sport or the sport of the next generation, it’s big business, currently grossing more than $60 billion a year. That’s roughly four times the size of the music business and nearly twice the size of the film industry. Video gaming has even become one of the fastest-growing spectator sports in the world, which may surprise those unfamiliar with eSports, but competitive gamers have shown that the profession provides lucrative opportunities.

When REAL SPORTS’ Soledad O’Brien first reported this story in Oct. 2013, she went behind the scenes of the League of Legends World Championships at Staples Center in Los Angeles, where the competition was broadcast live to millions of people around the globe and had the eSports world buzzing. A year later, she visits Robert Morris University in Chicago, where eSports has become their newest varsity sport, and meets the members of the first scholarship eSports team in the country as they prepare for their inaugural season.

Producers: Jake Rosenwasser, Maggie Burbank.

Other HBO playdates: Oct. 21 (3:20 a.m.), 24 (9:30 a.m., 9:00 p.m.), 27 (12:45 p.m.), 28 (7:00 p.m.) and 30 (2:00 a.m.), and Nov. 2 (9:00 a.m.), 4 (midnight), 5 (7:30 p.m.) and 8 (9:30 a.m.)

HBO2 playdates: Oct. 25 (2:30 p.m.), 29 (noon, 8:00 p.m.) and 31 (4:00 p.m.), and Nov. 11 (10:00 a.m., 2:45 a.m.), 15 (4:40 p.m.) and 21 (midnight)

REAL SPORTS WITH BRYANT GUMBEL is available on multiple platforms, including HBO On Demand® and HBO GO®.

REAL SPORTS was recognized by the University of Georgia’s Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication with a 2012 George F. Peabody Award for broadcast excellence. It is the only sports program ever honored with two duPont Awards, first in 2005 and again in 2012. Debuting April 2, 1995, the series has captured the Sports Emmy® for Outstanding Sports Journalism 15 times, receiving 26 Sports Emmys® overall.

Follow REAL SPORTS updates on HBO.com/realsports and facebook.com/realsports. Immediately following the debut of this month’s show on Oct. 21, log on to HBO.com/realsports for a special overtime session hosted by Bryant Gumbel.

The executive producer of REAL SPORTS WITH BRYANT GUMBEL is Rick Bernstein; Joe Perskie is senior producer.

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EXCERPTS

Tim Pahuta was drafted by the Washington Nationals in 2005, a year after former San Francisco Giants’ minor leaguer Garrett Broshuis. On the field he was often the star, hitting 112 career homeruns. At home, he was a pauper.

JON FRANKEL: “When you took stock of your situation, and you looked around, you said, ‘Wait a minute.  I’m livin’ with four other guys in a two-bedroom apartment on an air mattress.  Aren’t I a professional athlete?’”

TIM PAHUTA: “Yeah, right.  That’s exactly what you say to yourself. You don’t feel like a professional athlete at that point. You feel like an unwanted commodity.”

Pahuta was a very good minor league baseball player…a phone call away from making it, is what they say about guys like him…a phone call, that never came…and last year, after nine years, and six different teams, Pahuta knew it was time to get on with the rest of his life.

The disappointment was hard enough, but these days Pahuta has a more immediate issue.

JON FRANKEL: “So this is the room you grew up in?”

TIM PAHUTA: “This is it. This is it right here.”

Having finally given up on his dream, Pahuta is back home, living with Mom and Dad.

JON FRANKEL: “Living at your parents’ house?”

TIM PAHUTA: “Absolutely.”

JON FRANKEL: “How does that roll off the tongue?”

TIM PAHUTA: “It feels terrible.  It’s embarrassing.  You’re 31 years old, and you live at your parents’ house?  How do you pick up a chick like that? You can’t do it.”

JON FRANKEL: “Are the memories worth something? Are the memories worth…”

TIM PAHUTA: “Try paying the rent with a memory. I retired with $300 in my bank account.”

JON FRANKEL: “$300.”

TIM PAHUTA: “You’d be amazed at how many people I ran into during my career that thought we make a lotta money. Meanwhile, you make more than me doin’ whatever you do. It doesn’t matter. Person servin’ hotdogs in the stadium makes more than the guy playing first base for the team everybody’s paying to go watch.”

The lawsuit Broshuis filed earlier this year against Major League Baseball and all of its teams, has 32 plaintiffs, including a former slugger named Tim Pahuta.

The suit alleges not just that the players are paid below the federal minimum wage, but also, that for weeks and months at a time, they are not paid for their work at all.

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Hard Knocks: Training Camp with the Atlanta Falcons — Series finale debuts next Tuesday

hard-knocks-hboHARD KNOCKS: TRAINING CAMP WITH THE ATLANTA FALCONS

SERIES FINALE DEBUTS TUESDAY, SEPT. 2

Episode #5 (series finale)

Debut: TUESDAY, SEPT. 2 (10:00-11:00 p.m. ET/PT)

Other HBO playdates: Sept. 3 (4:45 p.m., 11:00 p.m.), 4 (1:15 p.m., 1:35 a.m.), 5 (11:00 a.m., 9:00 p.m.), 6 (9:30 a.m., 10:15 p.m.), 7 (6:30 a.m.) and 8 (2:45 a.m.)

            HBO2 playdates: Sept. 5 (11:15 p.m.) and 9 (4:00 p.m.)

            The preseason comes to a close as the Falcons head to Jacksonville to take on the Jaguars; coaches evaluate player performances as they prepare for the cuts that will finalize the 53-man roster.

A 30-person NFL Films crew is at the Falcons’ training camp at team headquarters in Flowery Branch, Ga., shooting more than 1,500 hours of footage over the course of the series. Camera and sound crews have unencumbered access to the players’ and coaches’ meeting rooms, training rooms, living quarters and practice fields.

Join the conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #HardKnocks and follow @HBO and @Atlanta_Falcons for updates.

New Editions of STATE OF PLAY Debut Tuesdays in Prime Time Starting November 11

hbo-logoHBO SPORTS® PRESENTS NEW EDITIONS OF

THE INNOVATIVE DOCUMENTARY SERIES

STATE OF PLAY,FROM ACCLAIMED FILMMAKER PETER BERG,

DEBUTING TUESDAYS IN PRIME TIME FOR

FOUR CONSECUTIVE WEEKS STARTING NOV. 11

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First Show Features One-On-One Interview With NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell

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NEW YORK, Aug. 21, 2014 – HBO Sports and executive producers Peter Berg and Sarah Aubrey team up again for four innovative documentaries from the acclaimed STATE OF PLAY franchise, debuting Tuesdays in prime time for four consecutive weeks starting TUESDAY, NOV. 11 (10:00-11:00 p.m. ET/PT), exclusively on HBO.

STATE OF PLAY: CULTURE SHOCK, the first new film in the topical series, begins with a 30-minute cinéma vérité documentary that explores how the National Football League, America’s most popular sports organization, is confronting its biggest challenge: making the game safer. This compelling film chronicles the physical toll the game takes on its players, a subject that has taken center stage at all levels of the sport over the past two years. How does the sport of football survive and thrive with long-term injuries piling up and lawsuits being filed at courthouses? The special features unprecedented access to the halls of the NFL and its Players Association, gathering viewpoints from football’s business leaders and fans.

Following the documentary, Peter Berg (HBO’s “The Leftovers”; Emmy® nominee for “Friday Night Lights”) sits down with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell for an exclusive 20-minute one-on-one interview.

The other three STATE OF PLAY shows debut subsequent Tuesdays – Nov. 18, Nov. 25 and Dec. 2 – at the same time, with topics to be announced when confirmed.

Presented by Film 44 and HBO Sports, STATE OF PLAY takes on complex and multi-layered themes in sports, exploring their relationship to larger society. Each edition spotlights a topic or person whose impact on the contemporary sports world is undeniable, opening with a brief overview, followed by a cinéma vérité documentary and concluding with an in-depth roundtable discussion that includes the filmmakers, subjects and guest experts. Berg serves as moderator of the panel discussion.

“STATE OF PLAY launched with an exceptional ‘Trophy Kids’ presentation last December, and we are eager for HBO subscribers to watch this intriguing and engaging new collection of films from Peter Berg and his talented producers,” says Ken Hershman, president, HBO Sports. “Peter and his team dig deep for compelling stories that are contemporary, strike a chord and spark discussion.”

“State of Play: Trophy Kids,” which debuted in Dec. 2013, earned rave reviews for its penetrating report on the growing obsession many parents have with the scholastic athletic performance of their children. Variety wrote, “Going beyond X’s and O’s and wins and losses, HBO Sports’ ‘State of Play’ brings much-needed reflection and a wider lens to the sports universe — tackling a particular topic in a cinema-verite-style documentary.”

            New York’s Daily News observed, “Director Peter Berg delivers a compelling look at how parents put too much pressure on children’s sports,” while the Washington Times said, “As tough as it is to watch, it should be required viewing for every adult involved in youth sports: parents, coaches, educators, and concerned family and friends.”

“State of Play: Trophy Kids” will have an encore play Tuesday, Oct. 7 (6:30-7:30 p.m.) on HBO.

The new editions of STATE OF PLAY will also be available on HBO On Demand® and HBO GO®.

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Hard Knocks Episode #3 Premieres Tuesday on HBO

hard-knocks-hboHARD KNOCKS: TRAINING CAMP WITH THE ATLANTA FALCONS

AUG. 19 EPISODE

Episode #3

Debut: TUESDAY, AUG. 19 (10:00-11:00 p.m. ET/PT)

Other HBO playdates: Aug. 20 (5:15 p.m., 11:00 p.m.), 21 (12:30 p.m., 3:10 a.m.), 22 (9:15 a.m., 2:00 a.m.), 23 (11:30 a.m., 2:20 a.m.), 24 (10:30 a.m.) and 25 (10:45 p.m.)

HBO2 playdates: Aug. 20 (4:45 a.m.), 22 (4:10 a.m.) and 26 (6:20 p.m.)

With jobs on the line, training camp heats up. The Falcons fly to Houston to take on the Texans in two mid-week scrimmages, followed by the second preseason game. Competition for the backup quarterback job intensifies.

 

A 30-person NFL Films crew is at the Falcons’ training camp at team headquarters in Flowery Branch, Ga., shooting more than 1,500 hours of footage over the course of the series. Camera and sound crews have unencumbered access to the players’ and coaches’ meeting rooms, training rooms, living quarters and practice fields.

Join the conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #HardKnocks and follow @HBO and @Atlanta_Falcons for updates.

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